Each weekday, I read the daily Mass readings with the kids. This has been our formal study of religion for the past two years -- no Faith and Life, no Baltimore Catechism, etc. We read the scriptures and discuss them and read a meditation on them, and then we practice praying. Everyone has to be quiet and sitting respectfully, and for perhaps twenty or thirty seconds we sit in silence and pray.
I call it "practice" because no one becomes good at anything without practicing. We practice handwriting, we practice saying the alphabet, we practice reading. Some things, like speaking, we practice without thinking much about it at all; some things, like math (at our house, anyway), we practice with much angst and volume. And prayer has to be practiced too -- I can't expect the kids to leave the house at 18 and have much of a prayer life if they've never practiced having a prayer life, and I can't expect them to develop the ability to pray without beginning in this small way. It's good for me, too, to practice praying as opposed to simply turning my thoughts toward God during the day, just as I although I can play piano well enough, I'd be a lot better at it if I consistently practiced every day.
I've let slip a lot of activities over the course of this school year, in an effort to maintain order education-wise. Writing is one of those things that's slipped, and I'm out of practice, such that although I have all these ideas bumping around in my head, the thought of sitting down and putting them into words becomes easier and easier to push away. Well, time to practice in small bites. I'm going to write a post a day for Advent, no matter how short. Already I'm failing -- as I typed the last sentence, the clock rolled over to midnight, and it's already the second day of Advent. It's okay. Time to pick myself up and start over again.
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